“My pulse will not tremble to extend the quarantine” Following the President’s public announcement, there is no longer any doubt that preventive and compulsory social isolation will not end on March 31. But, although everything indicates that it will be extended until April 13, that is, after Easter, as Clarín anticipated; before formalizing your decision, Alberto Fernández wants to hear the doctors’ opinion and of the Interministerial Council that it drew up to advise itself on the advance of the coronavirus.
Despite having permanent contact with specialists, through the Minister of Health, Ginés González García; and also directly with several via whatsapp, the head of state initiated in the last hours a round of consultations with specialists to determine how long the quarantine he ordered last Thursday will continue.
Days ago, Alberto F. recounted the dilemma that presented him when he had to decide when he began to rule. He specified that he decided “to go immediately”, because he warned that it could cause the Argentines to decide to travel to the Atlantic Coast and other parts of the country with vacation plans and that it was essential that the isolation be carried out at home.
On this occasion Alberto F. does not need to speculate with the dates, since until Tuesday he even has time. Nevertheless, I could announce it this Friday, as a high official source confided to this newspaper.
“We learned that we have to have all the options on the table and make decisions according to what the experts say, “explained an extremely trustworthy official with the president. This shows why, despite having the conviction that social distancing is the most effective tool to stop infections , President I have chosen to be cautious and listen to the experts’ recommendations first.
In that sense, as the period of incubation of the coronavirus can last up to 14 daysOnly on April 3 the government could begin to process clean data on the effect of the quarantine. This, in addition to the fact that after the decentralization of the Malbrán Institute, more studies began to be carried out in laboratories throughout the country and a growth in the number of cases was evident. “Today’s number is the picture from two weeks ago. The ones to watch are the ones for Easter“, they indicate in the Government.
The need to wait for those results and the fear, again, that before the holiday people move to rest in tourist centers, which could unleash an acceleration of infections, are two of the points on which the Government’s intention to prolong the quarantine is sustained. Also, although to a lesser extent, the difficulties that were initially registered to guarantee compliance comply.
“After the holidays there were some who circulated and should not do so, but today (this Thursday) there were no problems“reasoned the President, who did not hesitate to describe as” idiot “the surfer who returned from Brazil and twice violated the quarantine.
While no one wants to make a forecast, The expectation that they have in Health is that the curve begins to flatten. It is worth the review: according to the projections that had been prepared by Minister González García and the President reviewed with the opposition leaders, cases would double every three days until March 31; and then -if restrictions are maintained- there would begin to be a slowdown, which would result in a strike from April 20.
A fact to keep in mind that may serve to anticipate the suggestion that doctors will make to Alberto F.: in that paper, among the measures they were asking for “to flatten the curve,” the specialists stressed the importance of arranging the “renewal of measures with periods of 15 days until the rate of growth of cases is reduced to 0 “.
However, that would occur, according to all projections raised by Health in that document, not before May 20, when more than 250,000 infected are expected, in total.
Fernández never tires of repeating that in his decision to restrict circulation he will continue to prioritize “the health of Argentines over the economy.” However, at the same time, is aware of the impact that this parate can generate. And it seeks to anticipate conflict situations.
So before announcing the measure, arranged a package of measures to contain to the most vulnerable sectors, with the reinforcement of AUH and food agreed by the Minister of Social Development, Daniel Arroyo; with the mayors of the metropolitan area, and also sought relief for the middle class, with the law that drives to freeze rents and prevent evictions.
For now, the Minister of Security, Sabina Frederic; He was presented a paper with possible “Conflict hypotheses” in the AMBA and how the redeployment of the Security Forces should be in the face of the increase in violence in the most vulnerable areas. The document raises the need to reinforce some sectors of the Conurbano -as he announced, Clarín this Thursday more gendarmes arrived at La Matanza And then it would happen in Moreno, Quilmes and San Fernando- and highlights the need to guarantee supplies, to avoid layoffs and suspensions in the world of informal work.